RENOVATE: Wednesday, February 28th




Isaiah 43:19 (NRSV)

I am about to do a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

“Are you ready to see your Fixer Upper?” Jim and I love to watch Chip and Joanna at work on the HGTV series, “Fixer Upper.” Each week, they renovate an old house to make it perfect for the home buyers. It is amazing to see how such a worn down, unattractive, and impractical home can become beautiful and functional. At the end of the show, the owners are delighted and surprised when the renovated home is revealed. Their old home has been reimagined and made new.

What makes a home perfect for us changes over time. A cute and cozy bungalow may become too small. A large, spacious home may become too large. A house may start out as new and trendy but eventually becomes dated and worn. Appliances may be shiny and efficient, but eventually newer, better models are made. Life changes- births, deaths, aging bodies- lead to the need for different layouts, such as extra bedrooms, no stairs, bigger garages. What once may have been a perfect home for us usually will need renovations and improvements along the way.

We could think of our lives as one long process of renovation. As we continue along the path of becoming our true selves- the selves God intends us to be- we discover that some of the things that once worked for us no longer do. As a house needs renovating to serve its purpose well, at times our ways of living and being need to be changed, too. What in our lives could use some renovation? What changes may help us become our God-intended, true selves?

Changes in size: Have any of our dreams and goals become too small? Or maybe even too big? Have we become too content with the way things are? Could we change the size and scope of our prayers?

Updates: In what ways have our thoughts and beliefs become outdated? What do we spend time doing that really is now obsolete and ineffective? What do we notice in our daily living that could use some colorful sprucing up?

Efficient and eco-friendly updates: What wastes too much of our time and energy? Where could we serve more efficiently? How do we become better stewards of our environment and ourselves?

Changes in layout: Is change needed in the layout of our days- the rhythm of our routines, the way we begin and end each day, our schedules? Have we carried an outdated template for too long?

We are works-in-progress; we can always use some renovating along the way. And, like the homeowners with the run-down, dilapidated home, we are better off entrusting the project to an expert who knows exactly what to do. God helps us figure out what works and what doesn’t, what belongs and what doesn’t. We are being made more perfect and well-suited for God’s purposes each day. We just have to trust the expert. We have to have the courage to explore new options. We have to be willing to let go of long-held traditions or treasures or templates that are in the way of our improvement. Our minds and hearts need to have an “open concept” as God gets to work!

On “Fixer Upper,” Chip and Joanna are the experts. The homeowners trust that the final reveal will be fantastic, and so they have no need to interfere. Allowing God to take over our renovation- leaving the design, the plan and the construction completely to God- places us in the best hands. We too, may find it difficult to visualize the end result, but God is changing us behind the scenes (or “screens” as they do on ‘Fixer Upper!’). We can trust that we will be delightfully surprised on that day of the final big reveal!

“I am about to do a new thing…” Isaiah wrote these words of hope to the Jewish people when they were in captivity in Babylon. Isaiah promised them that God was working to bring them new life and freedom. God is about to do a new thing in us, too.

It is springing forth, do you not perceive it?

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